Like men, women have always played a specific role in society. Depending on the perspective of the viewer, one may say that the role woman have should change dramatically. In Ibsen’s play, A Doll House, legendary Greek playwright Euripides’ play, Medea and Eavan Boland’s poem “A Woman’s World,” the idea of a “woman’s place” and the appropriate conception of a “Woman’s World” is challenged. In all of these pieces of literature, women are faced with inevitable misogyny and unjustified predetermined inferences of character.
Both Ibsen’s and Euripides’ pieces have these women challenging the idea of what their roles in society should be. In Medea the hatred used to strive for equality or revenge for being forced to accept the role of a woman is far more extreme than Ibsen’s Nora who takes on a more subtle approach is searching for self-worth, respect and equality. In “A Woman’s World” Boland’s message is used to show women their fault in accepting this overly domestic role in society.
Bolan is trying to show woman to be more determined to find personal success, rather than simply living vicariously through the success of their husbands. In this poem the author urges women to search for equality and respect in love and society, just like the Nora and Medea in their stories. In A Doll House equality is eventually seen as a necessity for Nora’s love with Torvald. It’s the only thing that could keep hope for their marriage. When Nora’s finally realizes her potential as a woman, or rather a human being, her husband is shocked at her new frame of mind, and Nora is forced to leave him.
Nora’s epiphany for a better life for herself is something the Boland is trying to give to her readers. “Our way of life has hardly changed since a wheel first whetted a knife. Well, maybe flame burns more greedily and wheels are steadier but we’re the same. ” In this quote Boland explains that since the very beginning, even dating back to a nomadic period a woman’s role has essentially remained the same. Throughout the changes and advances in technology and what should be “society” the role of a woman has not changed dramatically enough.
With the exceptions of a couple tweaks here and there, the frustration with society and there conception of “woman” continues. Nora standing up for herself was the reaction that Boland intended with “A Woman’s World. ” Medea is also on the search for something in her story. To achieve equality and fairness soon becomes her feat. Of course with a different source of inspiration than Ibsen’s Nora, Medea has her “fun” with a misogynistic society and ex-lover.
Thinking that he is giving her sound and helpful advice, Jason shares his view on a woman’s worth in the great scheme of life. Telling Medea that the only useful and profound impact women really have in life is to bare the children of the men of society. Aside from the betrayal of Jason, the dominant role the male gender has granted themselves became an added factor the Medea’s scorn as well as the extremities in her actions. Eventually killing her 2 male children, a vengeful woman becomes a cynical, and in that time ironically powerful woman.
With the power to obtain the approval of the gods of her heinous and selfish actions, Medea takes away so much from Jason; his children, his heir to his success, and ultimately his legend. Although villainous, Medea snatches power away from the male gender and molds fate in her favor. Euripides’ play portrays an unstable but incredibly powerful and able woman, someone Boland is trying to prove to woman they can easily be, not including the instability. The tone of Boland’s poem shows frustration with the female genders acceptance of there “place” and the male dominance plaguing society.
She’s no fire-eater, just my frosty neighbor coming home” she explains how women aren’t confrontational creatures screaming for their rightful place in society, they seem to stay quiet, cynical, and accepting until they just don’t anymore, until they are brought to their boiling point. Like Nora and Medea, Boland’s hope and intent with writing and sharing the poem is that all women will reach their boiling point and fight for the rightful place in society, less like Medea and more like Nora, but fight for respect as a woman.
Courtney from Study Moose
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